Proposed SCUE tax divides micronationalists

HUB.MN — The implementation this month of the Trade Equality Act by SCUE has divided members of the Micras community, with many expressing that the intermicronational organization has no role in taxation.

The Act was introduced as the first measure of newly-appointment SCUE Administrator Pallisico Sinclair as a means of promoting trade and trade equality amongst the organization’s member micronations. To accomplish this goal, a 5% tax is imposed on the total currency reserves of each member that has a bi-monthly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equal to zero. If the member has a GDP greater than zero, it will be rewarded by being granted a sum from SCUE equivalent to 5% of the value of its total transactions during the bi-monthly period. The first taxes are scheduled for debiting on April 1.

It is the expectation of Sinclair that the tax will spur members that have dormant economies to begin making transactions and increasing economic output to qualify for the reimbursement incentive. “All that is requested in order to avoid a tax is at least one transaction,” said Sinclair in attempting to minimize any opposition to the tax, as one transaction would result in a non-zero GDP.

Despite his attempt to minimize the negative connotations associated with the implementation of a tax, the SCUE Administrator quickly experienced a backlash from several micronationalists who hold accounts with the organization’s bank.

“Are you kidding me? You cannot just steal half of my personal money,” exclaimed Jack de Montfort at the prospect that his holdings in Coria would be taxed due to the micronation’s lack of trade activity. Sinclair rebuked Montfort harshly in the exchange, replying that “Clearly, doing nothing has not encouraged you to participate in any meaningful way.”

Malliki Tosha, the Arbiter of Shireroth’s Imperial Judex, questioned the legality of the measure, noting that the organization was in his reading of its charter treaty only permitted to enforce, not introduce, taxation. “Even if you can interpret it as meaning that [SCUE] can impose taxes, I would still consider the language ambiguous,” he said.

That opinion was echoed by Iain de Vembria and Vilhelm Benkern, the latter of whom angrily pronounced that “SCUE shouldn’t be led by a despot but someone who takes in the views of many members.” Benkern called on SCUE to re-think the implementation of the taxation, calling it counterproductive to economic development. “[The organization] should surely be providing a platform for co-operation between member states and allowing them to flourish themselves, without having to actively ‘encourage’ or penalise certain nations in the way proposed.”

Yet the pronouncements of those in opposition to the tax have failed to sway the opinions of several micronationalists who voiced support for the measure. “… Penalising members for just sitting on piles of money and never spending it seems fair,” Joe Foxon opined with the support of Giles Melang and James-Robert Knight.

Former SCUE Administrator Andreas the Wise, while agreeing with Tosha’s legal interpretation of the treaty, nonetheless expressed his support for the tax and encouraged further discussion on its merits and implementation. “This actually sounds like quite a reasonable plan to me – taxing [inactivity] and rewarding economic activity,” he said.

Despite the ongoing opposition from his detractors, Sinclair appears to remain intent on implementing the tax. “If most aren’t using the currency, then the currency is essentially worthless,” he proclaimed, “It is not in the interest of the bank, or of the members …, for the currency to be essentially worthless. Therefore, it is incumbent on the bank [to] adopt fair measures to promote the usage of the currency, even if it means taxes.”

Proposed SCUE tax divides micronationalists

Nominations underway for 2014 FNORD Awards

HUB.MN (CS) | With the year coming to a close, nominations are being called for the Micras Sector’s 13th annual FNORD Awards, which will be awarded on January 8.

The FNORD Awards were started in 2002 by Scott Alexander and are one of micronationalism’s longest-running community award galas.

This year’s judging committee includes Jack de Montfort, Joe Foxon, and Carl Jackson, who will be responsible for selecting the award winners from nominations across fourteen separate categories. Those categories include awards given for annual achievements in various areas, such as economics, journalism, and best new idea. Also to be awarded is the community’s most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, which is given to a veteran micronationalist in recognition of long-term contributions to the community.

Nominations for the various award categories will be received until January 1 and can be posted in the appropriate thread at Hub.mn.

Nominations underway for 2014 FNORD Awards

One-on-One: Joe Foxon

CS: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you came to become involved in micronationalism?

JF: I first got into micronationalism when I was still at school. I’d just seen ‘How To Start Your Own Country’, I think I was a few years behind everyone else! I decided it would be fun to try it myself, so I asked a few friends and we founded Stigistan. Some of them decided to break away and form their own nations, and others just stopped being involved over time, but I was still having fun, and fun is my only real motivation in doing this. I’m not sure how much history you want from me, but there’s been some pretty interesting stuff over the years. We had our first name change when we first joined Micras – we were called Barrington back then. Then came the merger with Murrayfield to create the Republic of Wyke. When that dissolved, we finally took on the name of Mercury and have remained ever since. In that time, I’ve since become FMF Vice President and a member of the MCS Council, which I don’t think anyone would have expected when Stigistan were rejected for membership!

CS: You were one of the first – if not the first – individual to cross over to Micras from the MicroWiki Community. What motivated your decision to join Micras?

JF: I was struggling with inactive members at the time, so I wanted to take on a more simulationist approach to things, just to keep it ticking over whilst trying to gain more members. It never really turned out that way, but I still remained a member on Microwiki. After a while, I just got fed up of all the bickering about the same-old stuff, so I decided to permanently move to Micras.

CS: What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of each of Micras and MicroWiki?

JF: Well Micras is definitely a lot more grown-up, which is a good thing, but then we don’t have that same sense of community that Microwiki has. That community bickers endlessly but still like to pool together and get things done, whereas over here, if you’re not doing sport, you’re doing your own thing.

CS: You’re the founder and leader of the Republic of Mercury. Can you tell us a bit about this micronation and your plans for it?

JF: Mercury is a parliamentary republic made up of eight states. There are five mainland states: Deacon, May, Mercury, Taylor and Tow Law; and three other constituent countries: Lucerne, Nova England and Nova English Korea. Each of the mainland states has their own senate where they deal with local matters. Lucerne has the Lucerne Council and Nova England/Nova English Korea share the Witan. My plan is to just carry on what I’m doing. I prefer going it alone, and I wouldn’t want someone else to come in and take it in a completely different direction, as New Victoria tried to do.

One-on-One: Joe Foxon

Craitish football team leaves Eastern Micras Union

CHERRY TREES (CS) | The four-time winner of the Fédération Micraise de Football (FMF) World Cup, the Craitish national football team, is to move from the expansive Eastern Micras Union Football Association to the smallest association, the Western Micras Football Association (WMFA), at the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup. Continue reading “Craitish football team leaves Eastern Micras Union”

Craitish football team leaves Eastern Micras Union

The Standard One-on-One: Barnaby Hands

CAT’S CORNER PROVINCE (CS) | The Coprieta Standard was honoured to be granted the opportunity to interview the President of Senya, and a prominent leader in micronational sport, Barnaby Hands, on a range of topics. Continue reading “The Standard One-on-One: Barnaby Hands”

The Standard One-on-One: Barnaby Hands

New Victoria founder in sock-puppet scandal

HUB.MN (CS) – A third change in monarchs in as many weeks has triggered a backlash against the founder of the Kingdom of New Victoria and its Cultural Commonwealth of Realms. That backlash by many Micras community members against Emperor Charles forced him to issue a laboured admission that his micronation’s claimed real population of nearly a dozen individuals was in fact largely inflated by his personal use of sock-puppets.

The events leading to the sock-puppet admission began on February 25 when, without any notice published anywhere of Charles’ abdication, a new monarch, Elizabeth, claiming to be Charles’ real-life sister, suddenly appeared at the Micronational Cartography Society to rescind the Cultural Commonwealth’s Micras land claim. According to Elizabeth, Charles’ abdication was “kept strictly secret for the past eight days, during which time Charles even continued to perform some of his former duties,” before she alluded to a public announcement regarding the matter on the micronation’s website that never existed.

The revelation immediately renewed criticism of New Victoria’s unstable leadership, having suffered a previous coup by Charles’ “brother” just weeks before, and rekindled previous musings that Charles was engaging in sock-puppetry. Those musings were only reinforced by Elizabeth posting under Charles’ Hub.mn account accidentally, which she attributed to having occurred while attempting to recover information from his personal messages.

Initial public reaction to the new monarch was negative. Vilhelm Benkern cheekily quipped, “I wonder how many siblings there are?” A strong critic of Charles, Joe Foxon, was blunt on the matter, congratulating Elizabeth, stating “You’ve earned your promotion to the Sockpuppeting Premier League, well done, you just turned professional.”

Elizabeth and Charles, under their respective Hub.mn user accounts denied the allegations of sock-puppetry in a two-day, seven-page exchange between members of the community on the matter. This denial provoked even stronger criticism. Orion Ilios accused Charles/Elizabeth of repeatedly lying to the community during New Victoria’s dealings with the Micronational Cartography Society. Said Ilios, “I still wouldn’t come here and say I have a dozen citizens in order to claim more land. It’s lying, it’s unjustified, and it’s unfair to others who are being honest. You don’t gain the respect and trust of the community by lying repeatedly [….]”

Charles, having been goaded by Ilios to admit the deception to regain respect with the community, relented shortly thereafter. In an arduous admission, Charles stated, “There have been no others. I am, and have always been, the only user in New Victoria and in the Commonwealth. All others were aliases, as you all know […] my intent was to increase activity,” before stating his intent to exit micronationalism completely in response.

With his admission, many of Charles’ early critics extended him an olive branch. Ilios encouraged Charles to remain active in the community, stating “you’ve made good by owning up. I think you have a lot of potential if you’re willing to some give and take.” Benkern was equally forgiving, commenting that “I don’t judge [Charles] that harshly […] many have made the same idiotic error.” Yet, despite the outreach, Charles appeared inconsolable with embarrassment and intent on ending his micronational participation.

Meanwhile, as a result of the scandal, Charles has dissolved the Cultural Commonwealth of Realms and its associated micronations, including New Victoria, and deleted their web presence, effectively ending its controversy-filled three-month existence.

New Victoria founder in sock-puppet scandal

Confusion reigns on New Victoria future

HUB.MN (CS) – Having ironically gone offline due to mysterious technical problems with their web host just prior to winning the Most Promising Micronation FNORD Award for 2012, confusion on the micronation’s future continues to grip the Micras community as the monarch has been ousted for wanting to bring the micronation back online.

When New Victoria’s King Charles re-appeared in the community on January 11, he cautioned that the web hosting issues had “the more conservative [Members of Parliament] riled up, some of whom feel that our nation was more efficient offline … there is a very real possibility that [the nation] will be made to be offline states.” Despite the caution, several members of the Micras community welcomed New Victoria back into the fold, expressing relief that its hosting issues had not perturbed its leadership from the online micronational world.

By January 20, a surprising turn of events in the micronation had lead to the pro-offline faction taking command of a vote on the Offline Act, which received unanimous support amongst parliamentarians. That Act, assented to by King Charles, dictated that the micronation would maintain no Internet presence and that any citizen unable to assemble in person would have their status revoked. The community’s reaction to the law was stinging, with several individuals evidently feeling betrayed. Said Craitman Pellegrino in reaction, “How ridiculously disappointing,” while Shireroth’s Vilhelm von Benkern quipped, “How about a re-vote on most promising micronation?” Joe Foxon, the President of Mercury, was even more blunt, “Maybe next year we can have an award for ‘dick-move of the year’”.

That condemnation by the community forced King Charles to repeal the Offline Act later that day, deeming it as unconstitutional. Yet no sooner than two days later, the situation in New Victoria had once again reversed to the confusion of the Micras community. In another apologetic announcement on January 22, Charles announced that Parliament “now unilaterally accuses me of interference … [and] disregarding the Constitution which I took an oath to protect.” It was thus that the Parliament declared that the demise of the Crown, allowing it to remove Charles as King in favour of his brother, George.

With the change in leadership in New Victoria, its removal from online micronationalism is moving forward as the destruction of the website, still offline due to technical difficulties, has been ordered. It appears unlikely that the sole remaining pro-online New Victorian, Charles, will succeed in any further attempts to reverse the decision or indeed to reclaim his crown.

Confusion reigns on New Victoria future